A couple from Carroll Plantation in northeastern Penobscot County claim that their neighbors’ dogs are barking constantly, and that the noise has lowered the value of their property.
The couple, Darrell and Terry Park, are asking a judge in a lawsuit filed last month to order the animal control officer from neighboring Springfield, where their neighbors’ property is located, to enforce that town’s barking or howling dog ordinance.
The Parks claim that their neighbors’ dogs bark and howl almost constantly and that the town’s animal control officer has failed to cite the owners or address the problem.
The Parks claim that the noise the dogs make for hours at a time is a nuisance and has lowered the value and marketability of their property. They are asking that the dog owners be fined $50 for every complaint the Parks have made to the animal control officer. They also are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
The defendants in the case are Ronald and Kristy Greco, the dogs’ owners; Donald and Nikki Reidel, who hold the mortgage on the Grecos’ property; Bruce Swan, the animal control officer; and the town of Springfield.
The defendants have not yet been served with the complaint, according to information in the electronic case filing system at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.
The defendants named in the complaint have not responded to requests for comment this week.
The Parks’ attorney, Joseph Baldacci of Bangor, filed the complaint on Dec. 23 in Penobscot County Superior Court. The filing includes a copy of Springfield’s “Barking or Howling Dog Ordinance” that prohibits repeated, overnight dog barking, as well as a list of nine dates between May 24 and Sept. 20, 2021, when Darrell Parks claims he texted Swan to complain about the barking dogs. The complaint also says recordings of the barking were sent to the animal control officer.
The ordinance states that no owner or keeper of any dog shall allow the animal “to unnecessarily annoy or disturb any person by continued or repeated barking” from 8:30 p.m. until 7 a.m. The animal control officer or a law enforcement officer may investigate and give written warning notices to dog owners if complaints are found to be valid.
If the barking continues, the owners may be charged with a civil violation in District Court. The fine for the first offense is $25 and is $50 for subsequent violations.
“Darrell and Terry Park own their home and like anyone else they have a right to enjoy their home and property in peace and quiet without constant harassment that has gone on for more than a year,” Baldacci said. “They have had enough.”